The story held you together

Some random thoughts from Mark Haddon’s The Red House. They spoke to me for a variety of reasons, I suppose.

The beauty kept slipping through her fingers. The world was so far away and the mind kept saying, Me, me, me. … But the valley … wasn’t this amazing? Look, you had to say to yourself, Look.

A failure to engage properly with the world. … Nothing mattered enough.

He occupies, still, a little circle of attention, no more than eight metres in diameter at most. If stuff happens beyond this perimeter he simply doesn’t notice unless it involves explosions or his name being yelled angrily. At home, in school, on the streets between and around the two, the world is constantly catching him by surprise, teachers, older boys, drunk people on the street all suddenly appearing in front of him so that his most-used facial expression is one of puzzled shock.

He had always seen his self-sufficiency as an admirable quality, a way of not imposing upon other people, but he could see now that it was an insult to those close to you.

It was the story that mattered, the story that held you together …. Saying, This happenedThen that happened … Saying This is me. But what is her story? Losing the plot. The deep truths hidden in the throw-away phrase.

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